• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel expects tougher competition in race

ESPN Staff
October 27, 2012 « Gutierrez hopes to 'settle' Sauber future | Webber explains aborted qualifying lap »
Sebastian Vettel: "I think we had a bit of a surprise on Friday in terms of long runs because everybody was quite competitive" © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel is not taken victory at the Indian Grand Prix for granted despite locking out the front row of the grid with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

Vettel took pole by just 0.044s from Webber on Saturday and the pair were roughly 0.25s clear of Lewis Hamilton in third. The margin was not quite as big as some had predicted and Vettel believes his advantage could be even smaller when the cars are on heavy fuel loads for the race on Sunday.

"In the races these days anything can happen so I don't think that means a lot," he said. "I'm very happy to be on pole, it's the best possible position to start and if you asked Mark and Lewis they would like to start in that position they would say the same. So I'm very happy with that but there is a hard race coming up tomorrow and I think we had a bit of a surprise on Friday in terms of long runs because everybody was quite competitive and tyres seem to last reasonably well. We will see what that means for strategy tomorrow."

Vettel aborted his first attempt at a timed lap in the final session of qualifying after running wide at turns four and seven. He said he then took it a little bit easier on his second attempt even though it was good enough to secure pole position.

"First of all it was a tight session, especially in the end. On my first run I did a mistake in turn four and had to abort the lap so that was not as per plan and we had to go for another run. We had only one set of tyres left but fortunately we got the lap together and I was very happy with the lap itself. Potentially I could have been a bit faster, especially around turn four, because on my second lap I was making sure I wasn't locking up the fronts.

"All in all it's been a great weekend so far, we've had no problems with the car and the boys have been working extremely hard. We had lots of feedback from the factory as well which helped from yesterday to today, so thanks to those guys as well. We have to keep pushing and we have a lot of important races, but the best chance is to focus on each of the steps along the way. "